Archive for Sports

Time for the “Big Game” (psst… that means the Super Bowl)

Super Bowl

Ah, it’s that time of year again already. The air is crisp, anticipation is high and marketers across America are trying to say “Super Bowl” without saying “Super Bowl.” It’s a time-honored ritual to skirt trademark law. Only the official sponsors of the NFL can use the trademarked phrase, “Super Bowl” their marketing and advertising. Even if you’re spending millions of dollars for a Super Bowl ad this Sunday, you can’t say “Super Bowl” unless you’re an official sponsor. (of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton of violations – companies using “Super Bowl” in their promotions)

So, what are we to do? Well, come up with clever euphemisms for the Super Bowl, of course. Here are some of the ones I’ve heard (or been forced to use) in the past:

  • The Big Game (The most popular one. At one point, the NFL considered trademarking this, too.)
  • The Big Football Game
  • The Professional Football Championship
  • The Football Championship Game
  • Sunday’s Game
  • Super Sunday
  • The Greatest Sunday in Sports

Let me know if you see any other awesome euphemisms for the Super Bowl. Enjoy this one from Costco’s home page.


Costco Ad


Comments (2) »

We Love it When You Win. Just Not Too Much.

In America, we love winners. We’re a country of winners and we embrace those among us who are masterful winners. No place is that more evident than in sports. There’s a clear winner and a clear loser, and we all want to be a part of the winning team. We tell the tales of winners and heroes over and over again. We love winners.

But, I think that we can only bear so much winning before we turn on the winner. We’ll embrace a winner or a winning team until they win too much. Yes, win too much. There are many examples of teams that fall into this category – New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Florida Gators football, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Lakers, etc. I realize there are many more, and I realize there may be other factors, but I think a major factor is that they won too much.

So what happens when they win too much? We turn on them. In fact, we celebrate their losses; we delight in their defeat.

Why is it that we get irritated by too much winning? Is it that we don’t like the expected? If a team or player becomes dominant, and it is expected that they’ll win, I think it actually begins to turn us off. There appears to be a bell curve. The more a person or team wins, the more we love them. But it peaks at some point, and the more they win, the more we dislike them. The more we root against them.

I think this winner’s bell curve theory applies to sports, celebrities, politicians, even our friends. We start to root for successful people to fail. We want to root for the underdog. We want to root for those who shouldn’t win to win, and root for those who should win to lose. We don’t want to see people continue to win. Why do we do this?

Bell Curve

Comments (1) »

Have You Seen Our Ad?

I was watching football on Sunday morning, and an advertisement came on for Symbicort that featured an older gentlemen working on his truck. He’s talking about Symbicort generically improving his life. You know how these medication commercials go – sometimes you get to the end of the commercial and you still have no clue what the medication does. Does it help with blood pressure, give you an erection, make your eyelashes longer, or all of the above? Well, it turns out that Symbicort is for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – basically, it’s like an inhaler that helps you breathe easier. I’ve included a shot of the ad below, as I couldn’t find the video online. Also – sorry about the resolution – I took the photo with my iPhone on a my non-hi-def TV in the bedroom.

Symbicort TV Ad

Symbicort TV Ad

My problem is not with the script for the advertisement, but rather with a line that appeared at the bottom: See our ad in Ladies Home Journal.

TV Ad 2

I have two issues with this:

1. Who is your target audience? COPD is not exclusive to men. In fact, it seems to inflict approximately the same number of men as women. This ad appeared during football on Sunday, which is dominantly male. OK, no problem, you want to reach the guys watching football. Why does your ad ask me to see the ad in Ladies Home Journal? Do you really think that a lot of the people that watch football on Sundays (men) read Ladies Home Journal? It’s not only unlikely, it’s stupid. Let’s say that in your channel planning, you decided to run ┬áTV ads and magazine ads. Fine. And you decided to buy air time during a dominantly male program. Fine. Would you not also purchase an ad in a dominantly male magazine, like Sports Illustrated? THEN, it would be far more logical to say, “See our ad in Sports Illustrated.” I’m not mad at you for placing an ad in Ladies Home Journal – just don’t tell me about it during men’s programming.

2. See your ad in a magazine? Seriously? Why even add this line to TV ads? Unless you have the magazine in your home, you’re not going to head down to the grocery store and grab the magazine to find out more about an obscure drug ad. We already know that fewer and fewer people are reading magazines – they’re going out of business left and right. We’re going to go online to find out more information. In their defense, they did include their URL. I think my bottom line is that it’s a outdated technique to put, “See our ad in…” Don’t get me wrong, integrated marketing campaigns are supremely important. But, I think this technique misses the mark completely.

What do you all think? Was this poor marketing, or was it smart integration?

Comments (12) »